Monday, January 31, 2011

Product Review: Koday EasyShare C195

One of the most important pieces of equipment any ghost hunter can own is a camera. A camera can let you capture images and video and document the events of your investigations. If you are serious about ghost hunting, it’s an item worth investing time in.

I actually own several cameras, but today I’m going to review my favorite, the Kodak EasyShare C195. Some people might be turned off at the idea of using a basic point and shoot camera for serious investigations but point and shoot cameras allow you to take pictures quickly and easily. During an investigation you rarely have time to set up a decent shot and speed can make a world of difference.

The EasyShare lives up to its name. Even someone with minimal experience can pretty much turn it on and start snapping photos with the auto feature. It also comes with many customizable settings as well for more experienced photographers. It has 5x optical zoom, blink detection, a wide screen for viewing photos, and an easy to use share button for uploading pictures. It’s a 14 megapixel camera. This camera also comes with the ability to take video and while it doesn’t take great night time video without additional light sources, the video feature can come in handy for taking short daytime video.

The delay on snapping photos is pretty quick on the EasyShare. This is an important feature because when something is happening it is usually over quickly. You don’t want a slow camera to prevent you from capturing some great evidence!

The picture quality is really stellar. The images are crisp and high quality. Some camera lenses tend to have a soft or grainy quality but not the lens on the EasyShare.

My only complaint about the camera is that the software that came with it was a bit slow to load and difficult to manage at first. Of course, I’m not the most patient person in the world. I did eventually get it working though. The power button is also a bit smaller than I prefer but it’s not a major issue.

This isn’t my first Kodak EasyShare camera, and it probably won’t be my last. They have proven reliable and effective and they are priced much lower than many of the other digital cameras on the market. It’s a perfect starter camera for a beginner or a nice addition to any seasoned photographers collection.

I give the Kodak EasyShare 4.5 out of 5 ghosts.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Creature Feature: Thunderbirds

Native American thunderbirds have been inspiring stories for ages. With their giant wingspans, magical abilities, and hints of symbolism it’s easy to see why they are so popular. But this creature, once limited to Native American mythology has been experiencing a revival as numerous people have come forward claiming to have seen a thunderbird.

So what exactly is a Thunderbird? Native stories vary among tribes but they are thought to be some sort of large bird or flying creature. Some tribes believe that they have the ability to create storms by flapping their enormous wings. Other tribes believe that certain humans could shape shift into the form of a bird. They are both feared and revered by the people that believe in them.

There’s a small group of people today that believe that Thunderbirds are actually pterodactyls that have some how survived and are maintaining a small population. Others think that Thunderbirds may actually be other common misidentified birds such as vultures or condors. The fact that it is difficult to estimate the size of things in the sky makes it hard to confirm the actual wingspan of any flying creature. And until someone comes forward with some good evidence of the Thunderbird it’s going to stay a legend.

Have you ever seen anything large flying in the sky you couldn’t identify? If so I want to hear about it!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Weekly News Round-up 1/26/11

AOL News has an article about a conference that is planning to try and study UFO's to better understand physics and flight. The article can be found here.

People in Cheltenham are planning a paranormal festival. If you live in the UK you might want to check it out. BBC has the full story here.

A picture of a strange creature has surfaced. The story can be found at Phantoms and Monsters. What to you think it is?

Monday, January 24, 2011

What's an EVP?

Today I want to talk about one of the most popular phenomena being studied by paranormal investigators- EVP.

There’s actually been quite a bit of debate about what an EVP actually is. Every group has their own variation of what actually constitutes an EVP but many groups are starting to agree on a basic definition and classification system. The easy way to think of an EVP is simply a voice caught on some sort of recording device that can’t be explained by natural causes.

EVPs are important because they often give us insight into the spirit world and sometimes are in direct response to questions asked by investigators. It’s a small way for us to interact directly with spirits. They are fairly easy to capture and can be found at anytime of the day. It’s also thought that they can be captured in any location but there is a definite increase in their frequency at highly active locations. Another characteristic of an EVP is that it is not heard by human ears at the time it’s captured. A spirit voice heard by humans is often referred to as a disembodied voice.

There are 3 basic classifications of EVP, although many groups have their own more detailed systems for ranking them.

Class A EVP: This is an EVP that is easy to hear and understand. It can be a single word or several sentences strung together. These EVPs are what most investigators try to capture because they give us the clearest insight to the spirit world.

Class B EVP: A class B EVP is an EVP that is somewhat understandable, although there may be parts that are difficult to make out. With Class B EVPs often different people will hear different things in the recording based on how they interpret the sound.

Class C EVP: These are EVPs that are very difficult to hear and understand. Often investigators capture EVPs that are clearly someone vocalizing but it’s impossible to define what is being said.

It’s important if you are trying to capture EVP to have a good understanding of both your equipment and the environment you are recording in. You should know where all your potential noise sources are coming from. If sounds can be heard from outside they can potentially be picked up on a recorder or camera. Sometimes investigators will lock a recorder into a room to help reduce sound contamination. It is not uncommon to capture EVP this way.

Investigators should also be aware that living humans can also make sounds that are similar to EVP. Whispering, shuffling feet, and distant talking can all be picked up by recorders. It’s important for investigating to tag these sort of noises on a recording during the actual session to reduce cross contamination.

Some ghost hunting groups are also starting to introduce white noise into EVP sessions with the hopes that it will make it easier for the spirits to vocalize. This practice is relatively new and researchers are only just starting to really study it.

Anyone with a recorder, a little time, and a haunted location can capture an EVP. There are many free editing programs available online. Every recording we capture is another small window into a world we are just starting to understand. So if you are interested, go out there and see what you can capture!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Creature Feature: The Beast of Balbirnie

Several years ago people in Scotland claimed to see large cats wandering about. One of the sightings in Fife, Scotland got some extra media attention when a series of large paw prints was discovered in the woods. The cats are thought to be some sort of black leopard, a lynx or a puma. It’s believed the cats may have been pets that were released into the wild. They are thought to be mostly solitary, avoiding the attention of humans unless threatened.

After the print was discovered, one family came forward and claimed that the print belonged to their St. Bernard. There’s a discussion and article about it here. Others have said that the print matches other feline prints and is not an accurate canine print.

Even if the print belongs to a dog, it doesn’t explain the numerous large cat sightings in the area. Many credible witnesses have come forward and claimed to have seen them in the area.

So what do you think? Do you the The Beast of Balbirnie is a big cat? A misidentified dog? Some sort of other animal?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Weekly News Round-up 1/19/20

There's lots of cryptozoology news this week!

A Bornean Bay Cat, which was once thought to be extinct was captured by a trap camera. An article about the story and a picture of the cat can be found here, at

Researches in Tokyo are planning to try and resurrect a mammoth. Yahoo! News has the article here. has an article debating the application of science in cryptozoology. Here's the link.

Monday, January 17, 2011

What's in a Dream?

Last week I had a dream, which isn’t unusual for me. What was unusual was the violent nature of the dream and the fact that it was incredibly vivid. My normal dreams are pretty pleasant. Clouds. Puppies. This dream did not have clouds or puppies.

In this dream I watched a masked man rob a Dollar store at knife point. I watched the scared employees react in fear to the man and eventually call the police. When I woke up I felt a little unsettled but then went on without giving it much thought. Until a couple days later.

I was flipping through a newspaper and came across the headline “Dollar Store Robbed.” As soon as I saw it I knew what the story was going to say. Sure enough, a man wearing a ski mask has robbed a local dollar store. With a knife.

I’ve never had a dream that felt like a premonition before. I’ve had a few déjà vu moments before but nothing majorly weird. Now it’s got me wondering if dreams showing the future are a possibility.

Dreams are weird things. They are full of mystery and confusion and the more we study them, the more it seems like we don’t understand them at all. So, in an attempt to understand them a little better, I’ve decided to start keeping an online dream journal. If you’re interested in checking it out you can find it here, though it will probably be fairly boring to read most of the time. But if I have anymore weird dream coincidences, I’ll be able to keep some sort of record of it. And if anyone else wants to keep an online dream journal and share it on here, be sure to let me know and I’ll post the link. Maybe we can learn something together!

So now I want to know if you (or someone you know) has ever had a dream come true. And not in the ‘magical Disney’ kind of way but in the ‘hey that actually happened’ way. Leave your answer in the comments, or e-mail me with your story. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Creature Feature: The Queensland Tiger

The Queensland Tiger is found only in Australia. It has characteristics similar to a tiger, a dog, and a marsupial. It’s thought to be a descendent of Thylacolea, an extinct marsupial or to be some sort of large feral cat. Its coloring is believed to be grey or gold and its size is similar to that of a dog. Some people have also theorized that it’s related to the Tasmanian Tiger.

Most of the sightings were during the early 1900s, although they continue to occur on occasion. They are said to be living in remote areas of Queensland, though there is little evidence of their survival.

If a Queensland Tiger was found to be living in the area, it could give more reason to protect the Queensland rainforest from developers. Developers have reportedly attempted to poison small populations of the Queensland Tiger in an attempt to prevent them from being discovered. While they may no longer exist, that isn’t going to stop people for looking for them.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Weekly News Round-up 1/11/11

Here's this weeks paranormal news! has a nice article on some British hauntings here.

The strange bird deaths have continued this past week, with a large number falling from the sky in Italy. There's a video and brief article published by here.

An orange alligator was photographed in Florida. Here's the picture. While it is not exactly paranormal, it is pretty interesting. And kind of cute.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Spotting a Fake: Using your instincts

Sometimes the best tool in spotting a fake photo or video is just using common sense. When you are looking at something you’re unsure of, use a critical eye.

 Try asking yourself some questions about the photo.

Does it look set up?

Often faked images are easy to spot because the anomaly is in the exact center of the photo. While it’s possible that someone saw something and tried to center it in a photo, in most reputable paranormal photos the anomaly appears in an unusual location.

Also, if there are people in the image, try and exam their expressions. Do they look genuine? Are they responding to the anomaly? You can tell a lot about a photo simply by analyzing the people in it.

Is the image in focus?

A lot of unfocused paranormal photos and videos are circulating the internet. And while many of them are produced by genuine people, if an image is out of focus it becomes almost impossible to tell what you are actually looking at.

Do you know anything about the person who took the photo?

People do amazing things with Photoshop. Unless you know the person who took the photo, fakery is always a possibility.

Is it too good to be true?

Sometimes the most obvious red flag in faked photos is that the images are too perfect. If the picture seems too good to be true, it probably is.

With a little bit of knowledge and experience you should have no trouble identifying images that have been faked. And pretty quickly you will figure out that most of them are.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Creature Feature: The Yeti

The Yeti, often referred to as the Abominable Snow man, is pretty much a household name. Movies, TV shows and books love to use this sometimes scary (and occasionally lovable) guy in their stories. And why not? He is pretty cute. With a coat of long white fur and facial features that are a cross between a bear and a monkey, it’s easy to see why he is so popular.

But the Yeti is based in real mythology. The people of the Himalayas have been talking about him for generations. And the Yeti is one mythological creature that actually sounds pretty plausible. There are so few people living in the Yeti’s territory that it’s possible that he could exists for years without a single human laying an eye on him. He’s also thought to be shy and reclusive, making the potential existence even more believable. There’s also been several well known cases of Yeti footprints discovered throughout the Himalayas, giving hope to all the Yeti enthusiasts out there.

Even with all the talk about them, there are still plenty of people that believe that the Yeti is nothing more than a misidentified bear. There are bears living in the area that are similar in size and stature, so it’s easy to see how one could be identified. Plus, mythology is not the most reliable sources of information. Stories can be passed down for generations and change every time the story is told. Maybe the creature the native people claim to see is just the product of story telling and confusion.

We may never really know for sure if the Yeti is really out there (unless someone brings back a live one) but that isn’t going to stop anyone from enjoying the tale of the Yeti.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Weekly News Round-up 1/5/11

This week lots of strange things have been happening with animals in the southern part of the US. Birds are falling from the sky in giant numbers and 100,00 fish have washed up from a river in Arkansas. AOL News has the details here.

A video of a possible Bigfoot sighting was psoted by Fox News. You can check out the link here.

Scientific American has an article about a study done on infants that suggests that they may be able to read minds. While the studie's conclusion is a bit of a stretch, the research is still pretty interesting to read about.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

What is a Ghost?

People spend a lot of time talking about ghosts. They look for them, trying and catch them. But what exactly is a ghost? Most people believe it’s some version of a deceased person but beyond that what are they really? Do they have substance? Are they made of some sort of matter?

There are a lot of theories about what ghosts are made of out there but none of them are very test friendly.

Some people believe ghosts are made up of electromagnetic energy. They try and track changes in the electromagnetic field to register when a ghost is nearby.

Others think that ghosts are electrical in nature, due to their apparent ability to manipulate electronic equipment.

There are also people that believe that ghosts are 100% solid matter but simply exist in a different realm or dimension than us.

Some ghosts are said to be mists or shadows with their own unique physical properties.

There are even theories that ghosts are simply projections from our subconscious.

So I’m curious to know what everyone else thinks. If ghosts are real, do you think any of these theories sound plausible? Do you have a theory of your own? Leave a comment and let me know!